The Los Angeles Lakers made the biggest free agent acquisition of the summer by securing LeBron James but the signings that followed him have left many people scratching their heads.
Instead of adding another superstar to play alongside the league’s best player, the Lakers decided to bring in Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley.
They also re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, with all five players penning one-year deals.
The decision to bring in each player was met with a curious reaction but president Magic Johnson has a plan and believes he’s put the right pieces around LeBron.
Beasley is certainly one player who is grateful for the opportunity to play for one of the biggest franchises in the NBA and alongside James.
The veteran has played for seven teams in the last eight years and has struggled to retain the trust of any of the previous organisations he’s represented.
The 29-year-old hasn’t spent more than one season with a team since he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2010-2012.
But after he met with Magic, he said he felt wanted and he’s thanked the Hall of Famer for believing in him as a basketball player.
“I was happy that someone trusted that I could play basketball, somebody wanted me to play basketball,” he told Bleacher Report’s Leo Sepkowitz.
“Being in L.A., being with LeBron—all those things were a plus, but the way the Lakers were speaking to me on behalf of me and my game and things I can do for the Lakers, that part was overwhelming for me.
“Because I’ve really been at a down state in my career mentally and confidence-wise.
“So to reassure me that I can play basketball, the way Magic was talking—it was good to hear someone I looked up to talk about my game. Being wanted and being admired was really overwhelming.”
Many people already have reservations about the way this Lakers roster will mesh next year and what style they’ll play.
One thing Beasley is expecting to see, however, is a lot of ball movement with several playmakers on the team.
“I don’t know for sure because we haven’t gotten together yet, but first thoughts: Running and spacing the floor will be so fun this year,” he said.
“It’s rare you play with three guys who average seven-plus assists, and we have it.
“For us to average 30 assists per game this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get somewhere around that number.”
With 43 nationally televised games – the most in the NBA next season – all eyes will be on the Lakers as they hope to prove their doubters wrong and compete in the tough Western Conference.
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